twilight and shadow

SA MTBO Long Distance Champs

After a training ride with our team in the morning which did a little to calm my nerves, it was time for the longest mountain bike orienteering course I'd ever done (rogaines not included here), and in another country no less! I think the distance (which is based on the shortest possible route I think but I'm not sure, unlike foot orienteering where it's based on the straight line) was 29 kilometres which seemed a long way for the first race!

Having no idea what to expect terrain-wise (everyone tried to give me helpful descriptions but there is nothing like actually being out there to understand) I was pretty anxious. I'm can navigate on the bike so that wasn't the problem. And I'm fit so that also didn't bother me. But it's my technical skills that are sorely lacking as well as confidence so signing on to this trip and getting to the start line was a big deal for me especially after my fall a couple of weeks before.

The course, for me anyway, was really easy navigation-wise (not that I didn't make a couple of really stupid mistakes especially coming out of #10 where I went in completely the wrong direction!). Also, being allowed to ride across the yellow (open terrain) was a bit weird to get your head around. Riding wise it wasn't too bad either and I was really happy with how I'd done. A good start to the trip.